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Us 8, Lewis 4, The Navy 2, Diana 2, Navy 2, You Look 2, America 2, Turkey 2, Eastern Turkey 2, Halloween Diana 1, Kabob 1, Hays 1, Val Valesky 1, Naivete 1, Nathan 1, Van 1, United States 1, Ann Kronenberg 1, Dudgeon 1, India 1,
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  SFGTV2    [untitled]  

    April 20, 2013
    5:14 - 5:44am PDT  

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because the school was completely destroyed. you have it take all the deb brae and disembark and move it to the continent. this is in another coastal area, conception, the island you see was orego island, that was the island where people was there making a barbecue. when tsunami get in there, not even the grass was safe, everything was removed, and the island in front was completely flood. there is the island down there. it was flooding absolutely. this is a fishing market. that was before the navy came in there and after the navy came in there. a lot of fishing was close to 1,000 fishing boat was grounded and it was part of our
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job to put them in the water again. so heavy lift cranes are absolutely mandatory to have a safe place to move them and to start working. and because as i mentioned to you before, the ships cannot be, get into the port directly, so we make, we pier side two ships floating and all transfer of the cargo was through (inaudible) as you can see we deliver that assistance to different coastal communities. we use the marines to do that so no problem. as you see in the photograph below, you can see that the only way to get it in there was with rubber boats, not any more with the lft's that you used to or we used to get into.
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so we act, we are participating very active for 23 days, 18 of that at sea with these numbers. and that was what we did. in terms of lessons learned, as admiral nathan said, no one is prepared for an event of such magnitude, so you have to take many things in account but with a guitar in your hand it's another story. you have to be prepared as much as you can. the first section is to establish coms. communications is the most
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important thing to deal with an emergency of this sort and you are absolutely right. people and infrastructure regulations. in our school we teach our kids that if they felt a tremor or an earthquake, which is they can't stay stand, they have to run it high lands. how high? about 30 meters above sea level. this is mostly safe. but also we practice that in many coastal communities we practice at least once a year. also the streets, we have signs that say, this is the evacuation route in case of tsunami. we have that in all our coastal cities. infrastructure regulations, you cannot build anything which is not 7.5, or less than a 7.5.
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if there is a mother who has no diapers and no food for their children, 24 hours and everything is, you know, no water, no nothing, people tend to go to a supermarket, absolutely broken, no one is in there, and start looting. so -- and it's something that you have to understand. so usually police, the armed forces time to react is very, very important. and in navy aspects we have a plan and we put that plan in effect and it works so it's very good, this kind of meetings because that is exactly what you are doing. naval effects as usual prove their flexibility and their capacity to remain in the
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affected areas for a long time without any logistical support so we can do a lot. that plan put the surface units in less than 24 hours. naval doctrine was highly effective. most of our ships -- the earthquake was at 3.34 and most of our ships get underway at about 4:00 or 4.10. one of them without a captain, he is not a captain any more, but all people get into the ship and ships get underway without any order. as you mention also here, joint medical command control center is absolutely essential. and hydrographic survey prior to entering ports in affected areas is something that is mandatory.
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and the joint government (inaudible) of this exercise will be highly valued. so that conclude my presentation and we always face the glass plenty of water, so we think these are challenges, someone put it in our face and we have to look at an opportunity to grow up and be a better country. thank you very much. (applause). >> thank you, admiral, that was fascinating. next to come up and speak will be rob dudgeon, the director of the emergency services division. >> good morning again. i'm going to talk about a
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story of people. it's not really going to be a story of geology and the earth moving and statistics. it's going to be about the people and it's going to be about the lessons that we've learned and what we took away from that. i wish i could say that the small graup of us went to van, turkey, and did something heroic and changed their lives. i really can't say that. but i can say they changed ours. the lessons we brought back from there will benefit our greater community more than i ever thought would be the case when we detarted. to go back and start a little bit at the beginning of how this even came to pass because it's typically not a mission of a city to go to an international destination. we've got a state department, we've got the military, we've got a lot of organizations at the federal level that do this all the time. so it seems a little bit of a one-off for a city to be involved.
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but when i say it's a story of people and a story of community, it really does start right there. last halloween, so we're talking on the eve of -- in the aftermath of fleet week, as it were, october is a really busy month for us here in san francisco. it starts off with fleet week and it ends with halloween so it's two cresendo events. last halloween diana who you see running around here, key to the organization, who does most of the logistics to make this happen, and i went to get dinner at a local establishment. it's called hays and kabob and we went to
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get dinner on our way to the operations center hoping nobody would celebrate too much so we could get out of there at a decent hour. when we went there, we were both in our black eem polos and we started talking to the owner and he said, oh, did you hear about the earthquake in turkey? well, we'd heard about it the way everybody heard about it, i think it got about two minutes on some of the cable news channels, and that was it. there wasn't a lot of coverage on the van earthquake. it just didn't hit the air waves that much. he said, oh, my family's there. and he started talking about the devastation and exactly what the impact was. they were friends with the mayor of van and the mayor had asked them because they were in san francisco if there was a way they could get san francisco to help them and he
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was trying to get a meeting with the mayor to express this concern and make a request. i said, well, interestingly enough, we could probably help you with that because we do have a bit of a connection with the mayor's office. but the first thing we need, we need a letter, we need something official. i mean, i'm just an old paramedic, i have to ask, right? within 24 hours we had a letter. and this was the first hint of what we were going to see when we got there about the resolve and the resiliencke of these people. technology obviously was impacted so in order to get us a letter in the quickest amount of time possible, they typed it on an old typewriter, took a picture of it and emailed us the jpeg. no scaner, nothing like that, it was a jpeg of a leg. i said, good enough, it's
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a letter. we took that to ann kronenberg and said here we are, what can we do. in the meantime we did some brain storms, is this something real, is there any value we can add to this scenario? what we came up with was obviously we don't have the deep pockets to send over rebuilding teams or send over thousands and thousands of tons of material, that's just not what we could do. but what we could do is assemble a small team to go on a mission to van and meet them and talk to them and find out more about what do they need and is there an intersection of what we can do for them and in the meantime it gives us an opportunity to really look and see what the situation was and what we can take away from it. so that led to the next question, which all of us in government understand this one really, really well, how do we pay for it? last time i checked, home land security grants and general fund don't
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really look fondly on missions to foreign countries because we do have a department of state and a military that does this all the time. so is it really something that's in our purview and what can we use the funding for and that led to the next obvious conclusion in our minds, which was we need a partner. we need a nonprofit partner. and the first thing that popped in our mind was fleet week because we've been working with fleet week for a number of years and the focus has been on humanitarian relief. so we made a phone call and we talked to lewis. and i gotta say, if there's one guy in this room that is the unsung hero of fleet week, it's lewis. he doesn't get a lot of recognition but he spends 16 hours a day this time of year working on fleet week and we went to him (applause) -- when
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we went to him with this admittedly somewhat crazy idea, we said, we want to partner with you and by that i mean i want you it raise some money. and he didn't even blink. he said, well, how much do you need and we calculated it out. really in the world of corporate america, not that much. in the world of government, even less. and he said, yeah, we can do that. let me make some phone calls. a couple of days later, he said, all right, i got a couple commitments. let's put a team together. it was myself, diana, lewis, val valesky, i'm sorry, it's been a long week already and some people from public works. we want a couple engineers, i'm an old medic, diana is really the logistics master and i figure if we're
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going to go someplace where thins might go awry, i wanted someone like that. so we put this together in 30 days, including a holiday. we were wheels up for van, we spent 10 days in country. and the story there is interesting, to say the least. a little bit of a cultural difference. you kind of have to wade through, and i'm sure i'm preaching to the choir in the military here, you have to separate out how things are versus what you're used to and what it really means because otherwise you can really get into apples and oranges. so the take away for me, and what should be rolling behind me, are just a series of photographs of van when we were there. and what i hope the story that they are telling is this example of what we saw. i mean, there's some classic examples if you look at the buildings, these were all new buildings, by the way, that were condemned. but as you look you'll see some buildings
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with big cracks in them to where they are x-like cracks. that's classic soft story construction damage. that's what happens when earthquake sheer hits. that's what it looks like. for an emergency manager in san francisco, that's a really valuable lesson. i know what that looks like now. flood and val were great in taking engineering principles and helping us understand what was at work here and at the end of the line i'd say the first lesson that i'm going to say we took away was that building codes matter. they matter a whole bunch. because what we saw was maybe lax not forcement of building codes. they have building codes, they just didn't enforce them as much. using fill brick was great installation but not so great during shaking. so all these buildings were damaged and unstable and people
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were afraid. which takes me to the people. because i've met a lot of people in my life. i've dealt with people, the very rich and the very poor. as a paramedic, you only see people when they are having a really bad day. that's what one of my mentors explained to me early on. no matter what you think when you walk in the door, remember it's the worst day they've had in a while, whether or not it's your day or not. and there's something to be said for that. so the story of the van people. first of all, i have to get a little bit of politics here. it's a heavily kurdish region. this is eastern turkey. van is the largest settlement in eastern turkey. at that time its peak it had about 700,000 people in it during the summer. beautiful like, absolutely gorgeous place to be. after the earthquake everybody who could leave, did. so what
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you have left are those that are either die-hards, the people that are the leaders of the community that want to rebuild, or people that couldn't leave. and that's really telling because when you look at these pictures you're going to see abdomen abject poverty. that's not really what it was before the earthquake so it went from bad to worse for these people. but what you saw time and time again is they were out and rebuilding and carrying on and i think that says a lot about people in general and that's the next take away, is that no matter if you look at van turkey, you go to china, you go to india or you go to the united states, go up to the dakotas, you go to missouri, you go to joplin, what you find is that people are more resilient than we give them credit for being. people will will come out in their
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community and help themselves given the opportunity. now, again, back to the politics. being a heavily kurdish region, they don't have the greatest relationship with istanbul, they don't have the greatest relationship with the turkish government. it's a completely different world. it's completely opposite. when their armed forces show up, it's not really lacked upon as a good thin. this is why i want to say thank you to our military that's here today, to the army, the navy, the military in general, the marines, the coast guard, even i saw a couple air force running around here yesterday. the fact that you are here and you are in san francisco and you do this every year, it says a lot. because we lack at -- look at this as a good week. we have a great working relationship and after being there and seeing that it's not
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a good relationship and people get really, really tense when the guys in green show up, it makes me appreciate what we have all the more. there's one other thing i really appreciate, by the way, and i'll direct this to general speese being the trainer that he is, i got a whole new appreciation for muzzle discipline back there. i appreciate the fact that we drill that into our personnel that don't point anything you don't want to shoot at. because there's one point i was actually in our little van behind a truckload of soldiers and there were a lot of automatic weapons, everybody with fingers on the triggers and muzzles going everywhere and i'm, look, can we just back off a little bit? let's not tailgate quite so much, please. i know you guys know that but it was a real eye opener for an old medic like me. people are resilient. they come out of the rubble, they are living in tents, they are
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afraid to go in their houses and it's not getting better. this is december, we're coming on winter. it's getting cold. and it gets really cold there. it's high mountainous region. and we're wondering what are they going to do? we're talking to local government and because of the politics there's a huge disconnect. the central government, the governor, works for the turkish government, obviously it's a turk. the local municipality is elected, he's kurdish. you think we got issues. i'm sorry, this is not republican and democrat politics, this is we don't like you, we're going to put you in jail. by the way, they did that a few months ago. they rounded up a bunch of local mayors and put them in jail. if people went to the local
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camps they had resources but they were also afraid. true or not, i don't know, i didn't validate the information but there were reports of assaults and abuse by the soldiers in these camps. i don't know if it's true or not, i can't comment on that, i'm just telling you what i heard from mue kurdish partners there. whether it's true or not is irrelevant because people won't go to the camps. in the meantime, the government says we won't support you if you're not in the camps. they won't do points of distribution, they don't even want you to have tents and that's why you see the rag tag asortment of red crescent tents and there's some shelter box tents that were out there and people just made their own shelters. so we had this huge thing where we have the local municipality who is trying to support their population in whatever way they can, but they are running out of resources. it's december, it's cold, they are wondering what they're going to do. so the next lesson i took away
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from this is when you're looking at recovery, you have to be seamless. that's the take away here. now obviously we're not at war with any part of our population. we might yell at each other, we might have debates, we might have some civil protests and what not but at the end of the day we're all americans and we all come together. there, not so much. so the take away here is we got to be seamless, which redoubled my belief in our recovery planning. we have to be able to do this quickly. we have to support people where they are. we have to have shelter in place. we have to be able to distribute what people need and we have to partner with the community to make that happen and that's what we've been working on. that's one of the biggest takeaways there. now about first responders. i come from this world and we have our rivalries. fire and
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police, big red and big blue, being the paramedic i'm like the pesky little brother that just showed up not too many years ago. you hear stories, so and so locked so and so out of a command post in such and such city. so and so argued about who got what raise last year. here, a little bit different. here, medical resources and law enforcement are owned by the governor which, as established, comes from the turkish government. fire fighters and things like public works are owned by the municipality. let me tell you about budget discrepancies. the fire department, i got to tell you, when i went and i met with the fire chief, that one left a mark. their fire department was red tagged but they didn't have a place because it was so cold to house their engines because you can't leave diesel engines out in the cold, just
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doesn't work too well, so they still had to use the facility but they housed the personnel in two tents out in front. their headquarters is one tent and their dorm is another tent and they welcomed us in there, didn't even think twice. and in the story of what it was like there, for a community of nearly 700,000 people, their complete complement of fire fighters that were on duty, their professional staff, was just over 40. they had 4 pieces of apparatus. the newest of which was over 10 years old. they kept it together literally with duct tape and baling wire and that's what they did every day. and i asked them, how was it after the earthquake. and he said, well, you know, most of them lost their homes too. nobody here was untouched. they all lost family in the rubble, they all lost their homes, but they all came to work. every one of
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them went out and worked every day until they got as many people recovered as possible and even then most of them just moved into the fire station because they didn't have anywhere else to go. and even then it didn't stop because now you have people living in tents. their heating is open flames. every night they were out fighting tent fires so people that were already displaced and already without just gt a little worse. yet they kept doing it. i asked him, i said, what do you guys need? what can i do? what can we do as a city, as a community, what can we do to help you? and the answer was, you know, we really need equipment. i said, all right, well, i can see what i can do, there's a couple networks. and what we really would like is a way to help the community because as you've heard mentioned here a few times,
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this idea of post traumatic stress, it was prevalent. you can feel it. people were -- this was a month or so, two months after. every time there was an aftershock people were on edge. we were on edge, for crying out loud. we're wandering around under this rubble, i'm looking back at these pictures now and thinking, what am i, an idiot? these buildings are going to come down. if you look at these pictures commerce is taking place under it where in america they would close down the block. this where my family has always had its stall. we got to make a living. what else can we do? we don't have any medical training which kind of -- okay, you are fire fighters, i figured you had some. that was my naivete at the moment, i think i was a little overwhelmed myself. that's still my on-going
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project as far as that goes, how can we raise some funds and i actually have a bunch of paramedics that would go over there in a heartbeat on their time if we could find a way to fund it to teach them the medicine. the reality is they don't have a health care system now. it's slowly coming back but it was wiped out. they had the tertiary care facility in the region. they were the closest thing to a trauma center. they were the closest thing to intensive care. when we were there, the nearest surgery was 400 kilometers away and they don't have helicopters, not so much. there's a few owned by the military. so it was a long ride. as a matter of fact, we thought about that as we were stopped on a highway and people were barreling at us, i thought, wow, 400 kilometers is a long way if something goes wrong here. but it puts it all in
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perspective. their health care was wiped out and they don't have the resources. that's something we would still like to do. the real lesson here is people are way more resilient than we give them credit for. it didn't get better, it got worse. yet they carried on. that's what i take inspiration from. you look at these pictures, you look at the people, you look at the children, a couple pictures of the inside of the tent, it was spotless. if you look at the children they are not filthy by any stretch. there are no bugs. i'm a paramedic, i've been bugs. there are no bugs. my lesson is how do i set things up, how do i bring this back and how does our department, how does our city, how does every single one of us
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that has a word to say about this help our community set it up to where they will be that resilient? because what we've seen here is we plan for 7.9 or we plan for 7.5, it's often times more than that and there's always complications. look at japan. who knew? we plan for one thing and then you have the cascading effect. we've talked a lot about the secondary and tertiary effects of disaster. it makes it more complicated but at the end of the day we have to be more resilient. so that's the take away. every single one of us, whether you are a nurse, in the fire department, dod or emergency management to help make our system a little bit more resilient, a little bit better. i have a laundry list of ideas if anybody wants to come help, i tell you. but there we are. what we've done since we've been back because i really wanted to do something productive, lewis has been such a great partner, we